Monday, July 30, 2012

Veal Stuffed Peppers

Since we began selling Rose Veal at the farmers market, I have had several customers ask for recipes for ground veal. I posted a blog last week on Pasta with Veal, Capers, and White Wine and today I have another great recipe for Veal Stuffed Peppers. 

I also have a recipe for Awesome Meatloaf that I will post sometime soon. It uses a trio of ground meats include pork, beef, and veal.

Veal Stuffed Peppers

1/2 - 3/4 pound ground veal
1/3 cup long grain rice
2-4* large green peppers
Olive oil
1 rib celery, finely diced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/3 zucchini, finely diced
1 tomato, finely diced with juices
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse rice under cold water. Put in small pan with 3/4 cup water and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow rice to sit for 15 minutes. Rice should be slightly soggy. 

Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove seeds and stems. Dice tops, leaving the bottoms whole as they will serve as the bowls for the stuffing mix. 

In a medium skillet add celery, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and tomato and cook until onions are translucent and vegetables start to soften. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, combine cooked rice, oregano, parsley, cooked vegetables, cheese, and most of the breadcrumbs. Stir until evenly distributed.

Spoon stuffing mix into pepper bowls. Place in a loaf pan with one inch of water in the bottom. Sprinkle with additional panko bread crumbs. 

Bake for 45 minutes. 

When peppers are done remove from oven and top with additional cheese.

Note: As someone who tries to focus on seasonal vegetables, I tend to improvise quite often in my recipes. I happened to have had beautiful dirt grown tomatoes and zucchinis when I wrote this recipe. Feel free to add, subtract, or swap based on your preferences. You could try various types of squash or eggplant. Just be sure to dice them relatively small. In the winter months I substitute stewed tomatoes.

*Because I add whatever vegetables I have on hand, my stuffing often outgrows my pepper bowls. The above recipe is intended for two large peppers but I often end up with enough stuffing mix for four. If this is the case, simply stuff the extra two peppers and freeze them in a sealed baggy before cooking them. Later pull them out of the freezer, allow them to partially thaw, and then bake.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Breakfast BLT

Hardy breakfasts have always been a tradition in my family. Everyday my uncles got up early to go to the barn to milk cows. Sunrise was mid-morning to these boys! Their day began while it was still dark, rolling out of bed at 4:00 am. For the record, I am definitely not a morning person. Talking to me before my first cup of coffee should be done at one's own risk. And I am not the only slug in the family.

Three of my uncles split the milking schedule so that two always milked in the morning and two always milked in the afternoon. The other uncle was in charge of field work. He got plenty of help when needed, but plowing, planting, and harvesting was his domain. Dad once told me a story of Grandad trying to get "field worker" uncle up in the morning to milk cows. After his third warning Grandad sent him to the barn in his underwear. Believable? Yes. This totally sounds like my family. Me? I preferred doing my chores once the sun was happily up to greet me (and I was fully dressed). However, my uncles and I never did agree on what time that was. ;-)

Once the morning milking was done and bottle calves fed, everyone would head to Grandma Hazel's house for breakfast. And although cereal might be a great evening snack for this crowd, breakfast always meant plenty of eggs, bacon, and sausage... oh yes, and fresh milk!

Breakfast BLT

1/2 pound bacon
4 fresh eggs
1 large tomato
1/2 cup lettuce
8 slices of bread (4 slices for open faced sandwiches)

Place bacon in large pan over medium heat. Turning every 2-3 minutes. Once bacon is done to your preference, remove from pan and place on paper towel on plate to absorb excess fat. Keep in mind that bacon will continue to cook after being removed from heat.

Meanwhile, slice tomato and wash lettuce.

Using a clean pan, add 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and heat over medium heat. Once hot, gently add eggs to pan being careful that they have enough room and do not touch. Fry only two at a time if necessary. For sunny side up, fry eggs until white is completely cooked and no longer clear. If you prefer firm yokes, carefully turn egg and continue cooking.

Once eggs are done, assemble sandwiches.

Dad (second from left) and my Uncles, 1959

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon Rind Pickles
I don’t remember my Grandmother Hazel canning, but most of what I remember was after her five sons had moved out and she was living alone. Corey’s great-grandmother however, canned everything! As she had either forgotten that all her children had left the nest or found it hopeless to convince PawPaw White not to plant their larger garden. 

This is another one of Corey’s grandmothers, Nanny Bea. She was the cafeteria manager at the local high school for over thirty years. And in her day, every bit of food that came out of the school cafeteria was homemade with the freshest ingredients from hot cross buns to green beans seasoned with pork to cinnamon scented baked apples. And she lived her preference for real food at home with a garden the size of our entire backyard. Then again, she lived in a time when all food was real food.

This is Nanny Bea’s recipe for Watermelon Rind Pickles, an absolute I-will-not-share favorite of Corey’s.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

1 large watermelon
3 tablespoons salt
6-8 sticks of cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 quarts white vinegar
16 cups sugar

Slice watermelon into one inch sections and remove all of the pink fruit. Using a potato peeler remove the green peel from rind so that you are left with only the white section of the rind. Cut rind into one inch squares. 

Add to a large pan and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer until rind is tender.

Drain. Chill rinds in very cold water preferably overnight but for at least two hours. Drain water. Set aside.

In another large pan, add vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add cinnamon sticks, cloves tied in cheesecloth, and the drained watermelon. Simmer at a low boil until rind is clear and transparent.

Remove spice bag and cinnamon sticks. Pack the rinds into hot sterilized jars. Cover with the boiling hot syrup and seal immediately. Makes 6-8 pints.

Note: Depending on the size of the watermelon you may need more or less of the vinegar/sugar mixture.  This is fine. Just be sure to keep to a 2:1 ratio of two parts sugar to one part vinegar.

These pickles do not need to be processed in a water bath. Using hot jars and boiling hot syrup is sufficient to cause the jars to seal. After jars cool, test seals by pressing the center of each lid. If lid does not pop up and down it is sealed. If any lids do not seal properly within 24 hours, refrigerate and eat promptly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Looking Back to 1957

I found this old newspaper clipping of my dad and uncles in a Hecht Company ad in the Washington Post dated 8-19-1957. Left to right, Michael Stiles, Kenneth Stiles, and Dad, Blair Stiles, getting their calf, Playmate, ready for the Montgomery County (MD) Fair.

Pasta with Veal, Capers, and White Wine

I found this recipe in an old Food & Wine magazine years ago. I originally made it with lamb and absolutely loved the saltiness of the capers. Recently I tried it with our Rose Veal and believe it may have been even better!

Pasta with Veal, Capers, and White Wine

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground veal
½ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed
3/4 pound pasta*
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/8 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons butter

In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent.  Add veal and cook until no longer pink. 

Add white wine, turn heat up to medium high, boiling the wine until it has almost entirely evaporated. Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken stock, herbs, and capers and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. 

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until al dente. Drain pasta and add to skillet along with cheese, parsley, and butter. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Serve immediately.

*I made it with campanelle pasta as that’s what I had on hand. Orecchietta pasta would have also been an excellent choice for this sauce. 

Note: If your house is anything like mine, it is easy to get distracted and overcook this dish. This will result in too much evaporation of the liquids. If you do, simply add a little extra chicken stock before adding the cheese, parsley, and butter.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What to do with all the Watermelon!

Just a few weeks ago I told you Caprese Salad was my all time favorite summer side for just about any meat on the grill. Well give a women a surplus and one might be surprised with what she comes up with.

Corey has been after me to make Watermelon Rind Pickles. So off to the local farmers market I went and after a short discussion with the farmer's wife, I chose a beautiful, oblong, seeded melon. Seeded? I *know*, with all those wonderful seedless varieties now. Turns out the seeded watermelon has a wonderfully thick white layer of rind, which is what I was after.

So now I was left with finding something to do with the rest of the melon. Or at least what was left after the kids and I got our fill. Then one night we had Summer Corn Chowder and hamburgers on the grill. Looking for something cool to balance the meal, I came up with this super easy Watermelon Salad.

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon, 1 inch cubes
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Basil, chiffonade
Balsamic vinegar

Cut watermelon into one inch cubes and add to medium size bowl.

Sprinkle with a good amount of feta cheese and basil, enough to get some in every bite.

Then drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar. Toss and serve.

Note: The first time I made this salad, I simply sprinkled the salad with a little salt (pictured above). And although it was good, it was missing something. The second time through I chose an aged balsamic vinegar instead, which really jazzed it up. Definitely go with the balsamic vinegar!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Easy to Peel Fresh Eggs for Making Deviled Eggs

With so much of Corey’s family within a five mile radius I have had the privilege of hearing quite a few stories about Corey’s great-grandmother, affectionately known as Mama Childs. She was a true farmer’s wife, canning in the summer, being known for the best applesauce cake in five counties, and raising backyard chickens. What I wouldn’t do for a chicken coop like the one she had. It was gorgeous even from a distance. It was painted a beautiful dark green color to blend in with her gardens and circular with one door. I never saw it up close, but I would guess that it was at least twelve feet across. Every morning she would let her proud brood out and every evening back in they would go. Corey remembers more than once helping her chase a new chicken out of her garden and back to the coop for the night. I never met Mama Childs, but I know I would have loved her company. Anyone who is famous for talking to her chickens is all right by me.

Fun Chicken Facts

Chickens are omnivores. They’ll eat seeds and insects but also larger prey, like small mice and lizards.

There is no distinct difference in the taste between brown eggs and white eggs. What makes a difference is diet. Pasture raised chickens have darker, richer yokes due to the diversity in what they eat.

A top producing commercial hen can lay over 300 eggs per year. Most of the heritage breeds of chickens here on our farm lay somewhere between 220-280 eggs each year.

The record for egg laying was set in the 1920’s when a hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days. 

One of the downsides to fresh eggs is that they are notorious for being hard to peal. Solution? Try steaming them.  

Deviled Egg Recipe 

6 eggs
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
¼ teaspoon of vinegar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar

Begin by placing your eggs in a vegetable steamer set over water. Be sure to give them plenty of elbow room. Steam for 10 minutes covered. Remove from heat and run cold water over eggs to cool quickly.

Once eggs are cooled completely, peel. Using a sharp knife cut eggs in half lengthwise. Put cooked egg yolks into a medium bowl, while putting egg whites carefully on a tray or plate.

Using a fork, mash egg yolks until they resemble a fine crumble. Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Mix well.

Spoon the egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Corn Chowder

I absolutely love soup and enjoy fixing it year round. I consider it the ultimate lunch, regardless of whether it is a light fare or approaching a hearty stew. Pair soup with a rustic bread and a green salad and dinner is served. 

Sweet corn being one of my favorite seasonal vegetables and the very essence of summer, I couldn't wait to create this easy summertime chowder. Growing up on dairy farms, both Corey's and my family use to plant acres and acres of corn for silage for the milk cows. Unfortunately field corn is not the same as sweet corn. It is exponentially tougher and without the sweet, tender flavor that makes even the most proper of us eat it like we are manual typewriters. The solution? Our families always planted two rows of sweet corn around the outside of the corn fields.

Summer Corn Chowder

Fresh Corn

I typically use a chicken stock as the base for most of my chowders, but for this yummy summer soup, I decided to kick up the flavor with a homemade corn broth. Should you prefer, you can always substitute low salt chicken stock for the corn stock.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seasonal Sides: Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese

As one might expect, I am truly a meat and potatoes kind of girl. There are exceptions of course, for example Insalata Caprese or Caprese Salad. I will plan an entire meal around this dish! And it's super easy to make.

Layer sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese, and basil. (Normally I layer them overlapping slightly on a plate. I placed them directly on top of each other here for a more interesting photo.)

Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

For a little extra spice we often add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes or drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top.

My favorite summer meal?

Grilled farm fresh hamburgers topped with Gorgonzola cheese, corn on the cob, and Caprese salad. ♥ For me it doesn't get any better than this!

What's your favorite summer meal?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chicken Salads for Lunch on the Patio

Chicken is one of my favorite proteins. Nothing beats a good chicken stock and nutritious soup when feeling under the weather or brings everyone home for Sunday dinner like a slow roasted chicken with root vegetables. And when the heat spikes in the summer it is the go to meat for an easy and light salad.

Here are two of my favorites.

Orchard Chicken Salad

Orchard Chicken Salad

·         5 boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast, cut into small cubes
·         2 medium apples, chopped
·         ½ cup sliced celery, diced
·         ¼ cup golden raisins
·         ¼ cup dried cranberries
·         ¾ cup mayonnaise
·         ½ teaspoon celery salt
·         salt & pepper, to taste

In a large bowl toss chicken, apples, celery, raisins, and cranberries. 

Season with celery salt, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix in mayonnaise. 

Serve chilled in lettuce cups or on brioche rolls.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Meat. What's in Season?

There are times when new customers approach us at the farmers market and get frustrated when we don’t have a specific type of meat that they are looking for. Pointing to our canvas sign above the coolers, they remind us that we advertise lamb, goat, beef, pork, and poultry. So where is the {fill in the blank}? Often they totally overlook the word seasonal that precedes our offerings. 

We don’t blame them, as most Americans never consider their meat supply as seasonal. Between different climates found in the US, imported meat, the ability to harvest meat within a window of time (think weeks/months vs. hours/days for vegetables), and that wonderful invention we call a freezer we are spoiled.  But if you are someone who appreciates local food, it’s time to take a look behind the scenes. 

Sheep are wonderful creatures and our favorite livestock here on the farm. As in most places, our sheep naturally lamb in the spring. The spring lamb you eat isn’t really referring to the time it was harvested but when it was born.  We have a huge demand for Easter lamb, and, well, that poses a slight problem. Seldom do we have lambs ready by April or May. The bulk of our lambs are born in January and February and most are harvested at 7 to 9 months. That puts them market ready in September, long after Easter. We have been able to meet the needs of our customers by having a few of our lambs born in the fall.  But that is not an easy task. Sheep breed based on hours of daylight. And try as we may, most like to {snuggle} with the ram between August and November. Picky aren’t they! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

I love this time of year and the ample supply of fresh food off the farm. It begins when asparagus first peaks out of the warming soil and strawberries are begging to be harvested and then continues through dirt grown tomatoes, juicy ripe peaches, and the smells of autumn ushering in the apple harvest.

Until I break down and finally plant our own small fruit orchard, I am blessed to be spoiled by Emily at Black Rock Orchard. This past Sunday the boys brought home a bushel of gorgeous peaches from the Dupont Circle Farmers Market. So Jordan and I cleared our schedule and spent the day canning peach halves and peach jam. We even had enough to freeze a little peach sorbet.

In my experience, late season cling free peaches make the pretties jars of canned peach halves (and it never fails those gems always ripen to perfection the week of our county fair!).

Whenever I work with a batch of peaches, I always start out making canned peach halves and am ready to adjust to peach jam if I find it difficult to pit the peaches. As I did today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hatching Eggs... Again!

The chickens here on the farm are definitely a Mom project. Yes, everyone helps with feeding, watering, and collecting eggs, but I am the one who can sit for hours reading Backyard Poultry magazine or surfing the internet for pictures of chicken tractors. So when we decided to look at making our chicken enterprise more sustainable, I was all over it. I spent hours choosing breeds that would fit our production needs and more hours finding breeders with bloodlines that mirrored our own goals.

For the past ten years, every spring I would pour over the hatchery catalogs, placing my order for pullets (young female birds). Two questions I chose to ignore: First, how close where the chicks I was buying to the original heritage breeds? Think about it. Hatcheries are interested in selling chicks which translates into hens that lay the most eggs. Good when it comes to egg production, but what about other traits, where they being lost? And more importantly what happens to all those male chicks? I didn’t really *want* to think too hard on that question.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rose Veal

We are very proud of our customers and their devoted interest in where their food comes from. It does not surprise us that many have asked us to raise and offer veal along with our other meat selections.

Veal has a rather dark cloud hanging over it, as veal operations have come under more and more scrutiny in recent years. Believe it or not, that gallon of milk you purchased this week has quite a bit to do with the US veal industry.  The commercial dairy farmer has one interest when it comes to cattle – females. Each female calf born grows up to be a productive member of tomorrow’s milking herd. The problem is that statistically 50% of the calves born are bull (male) calves and they are of little or no value to the dairy farmer. Ah, here is where the infamous veal industry comes in, they buy up all the bull calves to raise on milk replacer (powdered milk) to harvest as veal. Little did any of us realize the horrific conditions many of these animals were subjected to in the past.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...